NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A Staten Island family says they’ve been stuck with a giant, abandoned sailboat right outside their home for nearly three years.
As CBS2’s Emily Smith reported, the rusted shipwrecked sailboat has been sitting there since Hurricane Sandy, a daily reminder to Vincent and Camille Fattos of the night the storm gutted their Great Kills home.
“That mast went into my neighbor’s house, wrecked her windows, her doors, the whole back of the house,” said Camille.
“If we get a storm, which way is that mast gonna come? Who’s gonna be responsible if it makes a lot of damage?” said Vincent.
Fatto said he’s tried everything to get rid of the boat, starting with tracking down the original owner.
“He’s told us if we continue to bother him, he’s going to sue us,” Vincent said.
CBS2 called the reported previous boat owner, and he said there is no proof he owns the boat. He said he went to court and settled by paying the cost of court fees, but never paid a fine for the boat, Smith reported.
No government agency seems willing to help either, Smith reported. And it’s the only boat left out of about 100 shipwrecked vessels during the storm — all removed by the Army Corps of Engineers within months.
The Army Corps of Engineers told CBS2 because the boat is up against a dock and near the shoreline, and not in a federal navigational channels, it is up to the owner of the boat to remove it.
“Hopefully someone will help us some way or another; maybe some salvage company,” said Fatto.
Ann Piazza lives next door and shares the same views as the Fattos. She said she’s worried another storm could hit, causing the boat to launch into her home.
To remove the sailboat herself could cost up to $6,000, Smith reported.
“(Smith: Who can come take this boat away?) Nobody. That is what we are told,” she said.
“Even if they cut the mast down, at least that mast will lay there, and we don’t see it,” said Fatto.
If nothing is done before Oct. 29, it will be exactly three years that the boat has sat up against the dock so close to these residents’ homes.